This is my first diary, and I'm not so sure it's a good idea--but I'll keep it short. I'm a Pre-K teacher. I work with children who are four or five years old, the year before they go to Kindergarten. I am fortunate enough to work in a parent co-op, so the parents work in class with us one day every week.
As I read the accounts of the events at Sandy Hook, I cried--for multiple reasons. Of course, I mourn those beautiful children, those lives cut short for no imaginable reason. I cried for their parents--without my daughter, now 19, I wouldn't want to keep living. I even mourned for the shooter, who was at some point a beautiful and innocent child, who couldn't have imagined himself killing others. But in addition, I cried because after over 30 years of teaching preschool, I am not sure I'm qualified for the job.
I love my little students. Year after year, I rejoice in their growth and their abilities. I am still in touch with young people I taught over twenty years ago, and it fills me with joy to hear about their triumphs. But, I didn't choose to be a firefighter or police officer or soldier--I am not necessarily a brave, heroic person. I love my little students, and I'm pretty confident that if someone pointed a gun at them, I'd jump in front of it. But I don't like guns. I've tried target shooting and I just didn't enjoy it. I don't own a gun, and I don't want to. Please don't ask me to carry a weapon or shoot at some teenager I might have taught ten years ago. Yes, now s/he might be a monster with a gun--but ten years ago, s/he could have been my little student. I don't want to shoot anyone. I don't want to be responsible for the deaths of my little ones, because I don't carry a gun--and I don't want to carry a gun.
Please, let us find another way to deal with the pain and sorrow of our young adult children, than asking teachers to shoot them! If we took care of our citizens, and helped them, perhaps they would never arrive at this point. At least, we could try.